question mark Concrete Answers Series for Architects, Engineers and Developers | Click here for more answers


rmc logo



LEED Point Rating System

Building Green with Concrete


Using concrete can facilitate the process of obtaining LEED Green Building certification. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a point rating system devised by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) to evaluate the environmental performance of a building or site. The system is credit-based, allowing projects to earn points for environmentally-friendly actions taken during construction and use of a building. LEED was launched in an effort by the USGBC to develop a "consensus-based, market-driven rating system to accelerate the development and implementation of green building practices."

The LEED rating system has five main credit categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. Each category is divided into credits. Detailed information on the LEED program and project certification process is available on the USGBC website. The program outlines the intent, requirements, technologies, and strategies for meeting each credit. Credits are broken down into individual points. Additional points can be earned for innovation and use of a LEED-accredited professional on the project team.

Using concrete can increase the number of points awarded to a building in the LEED system. The potential available points that can be earned through the use of concrete range from 11 to 21. The following cities and states either provide tax credits and grants for green buildings, or require public buildings to be LEED-certified: Massachusetts, New York, Chicago, Pennsylvania, Los Angeles, Portland, San Diego, San Jose, and Seattle. Conditions vary and the list is growing, so please contact local jurisdictions for details.

Thanks to the Portland Cement Association
for providing much of the content in this section.



LEED Credits

Examples of LEED credits that can be earned by utilizing concrete in the construction of parking areas:


arrowStormwater Management Rate and Quantity

(Sustainable Sites Credit 6.1)


arrowConstruction Waste Management

(Materials Credit 2)


arrowRecycled Content

(Materials Credit 4)


arrowLocal/Regional Materials

(Materials Credit 5)


arrowLandscape & Exterior Design to Reduce Heat Islands

(Sustainable Sites Credit 7.1)



leed logo